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Rapid Evaluation of Chest Pain in the Emergency Department

Peter S. Rahko, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Cardiology Section, Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(1):59-60. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.9978.
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Chest pain is responsible for more than 8 million visits to emergency departments (EDs) each year in the United States. This diagnosis presents a large burden on the ED, acute care hospitals, and overall resources dedicated to medical care. In this era of shrinking resources, increased efficiency of initial evaluation and safe discharge directly from the ED of patients at very low risk has the potential of reducing unnecessary admissions, thereby reducing significant costs.1 Inadvertent discharge of patients presenting with chest pain is a constant fear of ED physicians, and the dire consequences of an acute coronary event drives the desire for substantial testing to achieve a high level of certainty for a negative diagnosis.

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